As the 2020-21 school year ends, PLNU must also part with some of the amazing staff and faculty who are retiring. Join us in celebrating the legacies and contributions of Caye Barton Smith, Jeffrey Carr, Patricia (Pat) Leslie, Stephen Goforth, John Calhoun, Barb Taylor, Samuel M. Powell, and David (Michael) McKinney.
Caye Barton Smith, Psy.D.
Caye Barton Smith, Psy.D., vice president for student development and Title IX coordinator, has spent the last 20 years helping shape the university that formed her as an undergraduate. This June, she is retiring.
“Point Loma is in my DNA,” said Smith, whose parents are both Pasadena College alumni. “I feel a deep commitment to the university. It has been an honor to be able to serve here these 20 years.”
After earning her psychology degree from Point Loma in 1981, Smith earned a master’s in counseling psychology from USC and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Azusa Pacific University. Prior to returning to her alma mater, Smith worked in clinical and administrative roles within employee assistance, occupational health, and substance abuse.
In 2001, Smith accepted a clinical and administrative role in PLNU’s Wellness Center. Then, from 2003 to 2007, Smith served as associate vice president for the Office of Student Development before being promoted to vice president. During her tenure, Smith has overseen the offices of Student Life, Residential Life & Student Conduct, Student Success & Wellness, Athletics, and Public Safety. She has also served as a member of the President’s Cabinet.
“Point Loma is in my DNA. I feel a deep commitment to the university. It has been an honor to be able to serve here these 20 years.”
Smith has enjoyed helping to sustain what she loved about Point Loma as an undergraduate and also being part of the university’s growth. As a student, Smith appreciated the personal and friendly environment and the mentorship she received. Now, as a leader, she has been glad to help make the academic, co-curricular, and spiritual experiences more integrated and coherent for students. In addition, when Smith was a student, she only had one course taught by a female faculty member. Today she is one of many women in leadership at PLNU.
Among her many accomplishments, several stand out. One was the formation of the Offices of Strengths & Vocation (OSV).
“OSV helped us bring career services into the 21st century with vibrant leadership and fun experiences for students,” Smith said.
She’s also proud of the ways she has helped improve the Wellness Center’s ability to assist students in mental health crises.
“I’ve been instrumental in developing systems of response and interventions,” she said.
Another significant change during Smith’s tenure has been PLNU’s move from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to NCAA Division II.
For Smith, the university has been a place of personal support as well as of career accomplishments.
“I lost my oldest son in 2013 and my husband in 2018,” she said. “These were, of course, devastating losses. I would like to thank Dr. Brower and the PLNU community for their prayers and tangible expressions of support during these seasons of loss. The PLNU community was Christian community at its best in my life.”
As she retires, Smith is looking forward to a new season. She is getting married to Rich Bolin in July and hopes to do some traveling – though she is open to whatever God has planned for her next. Bolin will join her four-generation home, which she currently shares with her father, David (58), her daughter Lacey (11), and her grandson, Levi. Smith’s daughter Shanley (11) lives in Scotland, and her son Lincoln (14) lives in Ecuador.
Jeffrey Carr, Ed.D.
After 14 years of serving at PLNU, Jeffrey Carr, Ed.D., will be retiring from his role as associate vice president of Student Development and chief diversity officer (CDO). Carr has enjoyed being in higher education because of the relationships he has formed with students.
“I have been a part of so many students’ lives, and relationships that I have been so blessed to be a part of continue to this day,” he said.
As associate vice president, Carr has many responsibilities, but some of the most important are behind the scenes. Carr is the one to help students when they face crises that threaten their academic success. He has been a lifeline for many students who have faced academic, personal, and mental health challenges.
One of his former students recognized Carr as one of the most influential people in his life at a celebration for the work his nonprofit has done in San Diego. Other students, including one who is now a chief of police, have told Carr that they wouldn’t have graduated college without his support.
“To know that when you are working in the right place and the right field where God has called you, people are going to be blessed by that – that has fueled me,” Carr said.
Carr has also always been active in the community. He has served as a board member, vice chair, and chair of Neighborhood House Association, the third largest nonprofit organization in the County of San Diego; as a leader in the Urban League; and as president of the board of the Concerned Parents Alliance, which offers college readiness programs.
“When I moved into the CDO role, it was a by-product of my community outreach for the university,” Carr said. “It was important to me that the university be well known in the community not just for education but for the love of Christ and the justice and equity that goes along with our commitment to love our neighbors.”
“It was important to me that the university be well known in the community not just for education but for the love of Christ and the justice and equity that goes along with our commitment to love our neighbors.”
As CDO, Carr has held prominent roles with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and been on the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. In 2017, Carr received the Martin Luther King Legacy Award, and in 2018, he was recognized with the Higher Education Trailblazer Award.
One of the accomplishments of which Carr is most proud has been the creation of the Center for Intercultural Development at PLNU, which opened in September 2019.
“It’s a beautiful space for students to come together and find support and feel welcomed as they are,” Carr said. “I was able to lead the design of the space, and students absolutely love it.”
In retirement, Carr will be moving to Palm Desert and enjoying the opportunity to travel. Before earning his master’s and doctorate and serving in higher education roles at Loyola Marymount, the University of San Francisco, and PLNU, Carr spent more than a decade in music ministry. He looks forward to being involved with music ministry at his new church as well.
Patricia (Pat) Leslie, Ph.D., MSW
Patricia (Pat) Leslie, Ph.D., MSW, came to Point Loma Nazarene University from the San Diego Rescue Mission in 1998. She was beckoned to teach at PLNU by social work interns who were serving in the Mission’s Women and Children’s homeless shelter. She brought the education and skills she learned in the MSW program at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration and in her Ph.D. program in social policy and research from Loma Linda University to her role as director of social work in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences.
Leslie invested in serving marginalized people in the San Diego region with a special focus on helping overcome homelessness and received multiple awards and recognitions from this work. Her heart and soul also find joy in her community and worship at the Santee United Methodist church; her daughters, Sarah and Rachel; and granddaughters, Kourtney and Reagan.
Stephen Goforth spent several decades in radio and television, including eight years at CNN as an anchor, writer, and producer, before coming to Point Loma Nazarene University in 2012. He has taught 16 different PLNU classes, helped design the multimedia program, and launched a student media website (LomaBeat.com) for our students, which has won several awards. His daughter, Anna, graduated from the program and is now working at a San Diego marketing agency.
The journalism program has a first destination job placement of 80 percent during Goforth’s time at PLNU. Like Anna, these graduates are using the skills they were taught in the multimedia journalism program. Goforth served for six years as a board member of the San Diego professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, during which the board won a national Circle of Excellence Award for its work in campus relations. He maintains one of the most popular websites in the country devoted to deaf news (DeafNewsToday.com). Stephen and his wife, Karen Lee, currently live in the Chicago area.
John Calhoun, Ph.D.
John Calhoun, Ph.D., director of PLNU’s Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL), has been in ministry since 1964. He accepted his call to ministry while he was a senior at Pasadena College, going on to enroll at seminary instead of law school.
“My heart changed, and I took seriously a calling that had been working in my life,” he said. “[Pasadena College] was an immensely strong influence on shaping my character and purpose and giving me a sense of love for the church that I had been a part of.”
While at Nazarene Theological Seminary, Calhoun served as a youth pastor at First Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City. He went on to serve as a pastor at Nazarene churches in Bethany, Oklahoma; Dallas, Texas; Long Beach, California; New York City, New York; and Bakersfield, California. He was then appointed district superintendent for the Northern California District of the Church of the Nazarene. In addition, Calhoun served on Point Loma’s Board of Trustees for 10 years while he pastored in Long Beach and again from 2001 to 2015 when he returned to California.
In 2015, he retired as district superintendent and came to PLNU to head the CPL. As CPL director, Calhoun has worked to foster a close connection between the church and the university “to find a symbiotic relationship, that is a mutually beneficial relationship, and to nurture it.”
Now, Calhoun and his wife will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee, to be near their youngest grandchildren. As he reflects on his retirement, Calhoun is grateful for his time at PLNU.
“I want to say that I love Point Loma Nazarene University for what it intends to be and aspires to be,” he said. “I feel like it’s worth giving a full commitment to its mission. Dr. Brower has my total respect and trust because of his heart and mind and work ethic and his value of people. Part of why I feel so wonderful about the university is working with and for him.”
Calhoun has also been reflecting on the opportunities he has had to serve through ministry.
“So much of ministry is planting seeds or nurturing them,” he said. “It’s all about people. When I took this call as a serious call on my life, it was not for any purpose other than my primary value is what Jesus has to offer the world and what I can do to help with that.”
Barb Taylor, RN, Ph.D.
Barb Taylor, RN, Ph.D., is the current dean of the School of Nursing at PLNU. She has served as dean for the past 15 years and a faculty member for a total of 21 years. As dean, Taylor has had oversight of all PLNU nursing programs, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which began in fall 2016.
Taylor received her BSN in 1982 from MidAmerica Nazarene University, her MSN in 1996 from Lewis University, and her Ph.D. from the University of San Diego in 2006. She has a passion for students and their learning and is an advocate for the development of positive and safe learning environments.
In addition to having a heart for optimal student learning and nursing education, Taylor has focused on increasing faculty scholarship and service opportunities in the school, university, and community. Under her direction, the School of Nursing has expanded the clinical and simulation skills lab and has been awarded two grants: one to fund simulation technology in 2012 and one to fund faculty development for hybrid and online learning in 2013.
A nurse for more than 30 years, Taylor has also been active in clinical nursing as a staff nurse, assistant nurse manager, and case manager in medical/surgical nursing, ICU, and orthopedics.
Samuel M. Powell, Ph.D.
Samuel M. Powell, Ph.D., has taught at Point Loma Nazarene University since 1986. He is the author of several books, mostly recently The Trinity (2020). He earned his bachelor’s degree from Point Loma College, his Master of Divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. He is an ordained deacon in the Church of the Nazarene.
Powell has served as secretary-treasurer and president of the Wesleyan Theological Society. He attends Mission Church of the Nazarene with his wife, Terrie. He has two children and four grandchildren. He is an amateur guitarist and takes classes in creative writing.
David (Michael) McKinney, Ph.D., J.D.
David (Michael) McKinney, Ph.D., J.D., has taught at what is now Point Loma Nazarene University since 1970. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton and has a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Southern California. In his tenure at PLNU, he was the recipient of a Fulbright Award for study in Germany and a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, and he has published on Fyodor Dostoevsky and Johann von Goethe. He has taught a variety of courses in European literature and as well as varying levels of the German language.
In addition, he has worked as a criminal law (appellate) attorney since 1985; he has taught U.S. Constitutional Law at PLNU for some 25 years; and he has published on the constitutional rights of aliens (immigrants) residing in the United States. He has been married (for 55 years) to a most marvelous and gifted woman and has two children and six grandchildren to complete his many blessings.